Published on July 31st, 2015 | by Guest Contributor1
Strategic Group of Calgary drives big change with Strategically Green Initiative
Several years ago, journalist Homa Khaleeli recounted in The Guardian her experience with trying to be green at work. ‘Being green at work is a monster task’ was the title of her article. In the piece, Khaleeli recounts how difficult it can be to maintain green habits while at the office. Unlike being green at home, at work, the issue can become more complicated. In the same article, Donnachadh McCarthy of 3 Acorns Eco-audits comments on the point succinctly: “In some ways it’s more difficult to be green at work because we have to negotiate lighting and temperature with our colleagues, which means crossing lines which you would not have to do at home”.
Although Khaleeli’s Guardian article was written five years ago, the communal space inherent in almost all office environments continues to be a stumbling block for some green workspace initiatives. The good news is that we continue to see more green, sustainable business practices being implemented. Even more positively, many business owners are realizing that sustainable business practices are in fact cost-effective. As a result, management-supported green initiatives are increasingly being implemented from the top down and on company-wide levels.
Bank of America starting a company-wide recycling program that now recycles 30,000 tons of paper each year; Starbucks using coffee cup sleeves made of recycled paper to save roughly 78,000 trees per year since 2006; Anheuser-Busch trimming an eighth of an inch off the diameter of their cans to conserve 21 million pounds of metal per year.
Small and large, businesses and business owners are making an impact on the environment by beginning new sustainable practices.
What’s also positive to note is that building owners and managers are becoming more green conscious as well and, in turn, making it easier for business owners to run sustainable operations.
Calgary’s Strategic Group, a property owner and management company with properties in Calgary, Edmonton and British Columbia, is a noted example. In 2009, Strategic Group implemented its “Strategically Green” initiative. This initiative called for two broad points: one, the Strategically Green initiative bulleted out more than ten environmental guidelines for Strategic Group’s new developments and redevelopments. These guidelines included ensuring all construction materials are eco-friendly and have high recyclable content, installing CFC-based refrigerants in the HVAC systems of new developments and collecting grey water and reusing it to reduce a buildings’ demand on municipal water supplies.
Simultaneously, Strategic Group’s Strategically Green initiative wanted to ensure that businesses in their existing properties had the tools they needed to run cleaner, more sustainable operations. As a result, technological improvements were made at Strategic Group’s existing office buildings, such as installing occupancy sensors and timers in common areas of office buildings, maximizing daylight and window views in occupied areas and installing energy star compliant office appliances.
On the water conservation end, Strategic Group also made a point of installing automatic-flush urinals and faucets in all their existing properties. When it came to recycling, the company encouraged their business occupants to establish a truly functional recycling program. Strategic Group did this in part by setting up dedicated recycling rooms in their properties for office and retail waste.
The fact is that entrepreneurs and business owners alike are realizing that green work spaces contribute to healthier and more productive work environments. It makes sense then that many areas around the world have seen a spike in green office demand (see here, here and here). As that trend continues, expect developers and property owners and managers like Calgary’s Strategic Group to continue to be equally as supportive of and promote sustainable building initiatives.
This post was supported by Reputation.Ca.